James Sugrue pictured with Irish Mens Captain John Carroll
2019 was a stellar year for Cork golfers. With seven Corkmen winning international caps, there were plenty of great performances among several notable individual wins. Just three years ago there wasn’t a single Cork golfer on the national mens squad, this year there were three golfers to reach that standard in what must be regarded as a great run for Cork golf. With three seniors, one boys and three mens representatives, it was an impressive number of caps. Top of the list of course was James Sugrue, the Amateur Champion. The Mallow man won the Castletroy Scratch Cup in May, but less than a month later his world would change with the win of a lifetime in Portmarnock. An Amateur Championship win seemed unlikely at a few stages during that week in Dublin. After just five holes on the first day of qualifying Sugrue branded the course as “insanely long”, and he found himself three down deep into the back nine in the second round of matchplay. In what was a marathon rather than a sprint, Sugrue played himself into form, thanks in equal parts to a new Titleist driver, solid advice from Neil Manchip and a hot putter. On that Saturday morning playing in the Amateur Championship final, few would have thought it was his seventh round of the week. He sprinted into a five up lead against Scotland’s Ewan Walker. Despite the impressive start, the final would prove to be another marathon lasting the full 36 holes. The Mallow man, watched by a record crowd of over 3,000 claimed the win on the final green, becoming the second Cork golfer after Jimmy Bruen to win the Amateur Championship. That win saw Sugrue’s schedule change, with an unplanned visit to Portrush for the Open championship taking priority in his calendar. James was very unlucky to miss the cut, a lost ball on the 14th on Friday cost him a place at the weekend when Shane Lowry created his own bit of history. Although injury hampered Sugrue towards the end of the season he had the honour of raising the Irish flag at the Walker Cup in Royal Liverpool in September.
Peter O’Keeffe started the year off with a win, he came out on top in Muskerry in April winning their senior scratch cup. A five under par 66 gave O’Keeffe a good start and he was under par again in the second round to win the competition by two strokes. It was the second time that O’Keeffe won in Muskerry, his first coming 13 years ago in 2006. O’Keeffe was fifth in the East of Ireland and topped that by reaching the final of the North in July. Prior to the North he spent the week in Lahinch caddying for Robin Dawson in the Open. Peter finished second in the North of Ireland, which this year moved to Portstewart and Castlerock due Portrush staging the Open Championship. He lost out to Englishman Aaron Edwards Hill after a final that went to the 17th hole. The Douglas man was back in Lahinch later on in July, this time as a player in the South of Ireland. He started well, finishing in the top ten after the Strokeplay qualifier. He then Continue reading
Pictures from the awards evening in Mallow:
Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) being presented with the Munster Junior Golfer of the Year award from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Lucas Lyons (Limerick) being presented with the Munster Under 14 Order of Merit award from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Morgan O’Sullivan (Ballyneety) being presented with the Munster Under 16 Order of Merit award from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Mel Deasy (Lee Valley) being presented with the Munster Under 18 Order of Merit award from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
James Sugrue (Mallow) being presented with the Munster Senior Golfer of the Year award from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
James Sugrue (Mallow) being presented with the Munster Senior Order of Merit medal from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
James Sugrue (Mallow) being presented with a special commemorative award frollowing his win in the Amateur Championship from Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Junior Gofler of the Year Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) pictured with the James Sugrue (Mallow who won the Senior GOlfer of the Year award. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Golf winners pictured at the annual awards night. Picture: Niall O’Shea
James Sugrue pictured with Irish Mens Captain John Carroll at the Musnter Golf Annual Delegates Meeting in Mallow. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Order of Merit winner Jame Sugrue pictured with Provincial Coach Fred Twomey at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meetiing. Picture: Niall O’Shea
JIm Long, Chairman Munster Golf making a presentation to Gerard Gleeson in recognition of Gleeson Sports Scene’s 27 year sponsorship of the Munster Boys Championship. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Golfer of the Year James Sugrue shares a joke with Michael P Murphy from Munster Golf at the annual awards presentation. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Golfer of the Year James Sugrue pictured with Sean O’Leary (Mahon) and Barry Lynch (Raffeen Creek) at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meeting. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Golfer of the Year and Amateur Championship winner James Sugrue pictured with Liam Troy at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meeting. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf presenting a donation to Noreen Murphy and Mary Fogarty from Cope Foundation Mallow. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster GOlf’s John Fennessy pictured with Munster Senior Golfer of the Year and Amateur Championship winner James Sugrue. John was a selector and captain when James came through the Munster and Irish junior golf teams. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf presenting a donation to Jerry Mullane from Cope Foundation Mallow. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Golfer of the Year and Amateur Championship winner James Sugrue pictured with Jerry Mullane at the Munster Golf Annual Awards. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Irish Captains John Carroll (Irish Mens Team) and Michael Coote (Irish Seniors Team) pictured at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meeting in Mallow. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Irish Captains John Carroll (Irish Mens Team) and Michael Coote (Irish Seniors Team) pictured with Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf at the Annual Delegates Meeting in Mallow. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Munster Senior Golfer of the Year James Sugrue pictured with Michael P Murphy at the Munster Golf Annual Awards. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Kinsale’s Eoghan Cassidy broke 70 in Ballybunion today as he took advantage of better weather conditions. The youngster shot a 69 which included five birdies after a double bogey on the fifth. Cassidy came home in 32 strokes thanks to three birdies in is last five holes. The impressive round, the second lowest of the day, saw him jump from 36th place up to 12th place. The teenager also found a sum of money on the course which he handed in to the tournament committee at the end of his round.
Fionn Hickey carded a second successive 76 to drop back to a tie for third, although the Muskerry golfer is now eight shots off the lead. Seapoint’s Dylan Keating was dialled in today, shooting a very impressive 65 to take the lead. With the wind and rain gone, Ballybunion’s Cashen course was a fair test for the field today, and Keating delivered. He was four under at the halyway stage, thanks to birdies on the first and eight, and an eagle on the 9th to go out in 33 strokes. He dropped a shot on the Continue reading
Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) holds a share of the lead in Ballybunion after the opening day of the Munster Boys. Testing conditions were in play all day as 68 golfers – including 11 from Cork battled with wind and rain, and there was little in the way of respite as the rain continued into the late afternoon. Hickey had a tough start, he had a double bogey seven on the opening hole. He was four over after four holes but two birdies on the fifth and sixth got him back on track. He turned on +3 and a very steady back nine (+1) saw him card a leading four over par 76. Hickey is tied for the lead with Knock’s Lee Mitchell.
Youghal’s Charlie Flavin shot 81 to finish in the top ten while Stephen Riordan and Ronan Feerick are in the top 20. Robbie Walsh and Alex Dineen are in the top 30 while Eoghan Casidy, Mel Deasy and Keelan McCarthy are all in the top 40.
Round two gets underway tomorrow morning at 7.54am on the Cashen course, and with better conditions forecast the race will be on to post a score in top 45. That’s the cut mark for Friday’s final round. The cut is currently +18, but th Continue reading
Muskerry claimed another Munster Pennant on Monday, they won the Munster Final of the Fred Daly Trophy in Clonmel. This was their second win in three years, having reached the final in 2017, 2018 and 2019. This year marks the third of a three year cycle with the current players, and four of the team who were beaten in last years final returned this year to win in style. Twelve months ago Eoghan O’Shaughnessy was the player who lost out on the third playoff hole at the final in Nenagh. This year he was first to finish, wrapping up his match on the 13th green with a 6&5 win. That put the first point on the board for Muskerry and Stephen Riordan added a second soon after with a Continue reading
There’s plenty of Cork interest in Ballybunion today as the round of 16 matchplay gets underway. The Cashen course in North West Kerry proved to be a good challenge for some of Ireland’s top young golfers over the past two days, with six Cork golfers making it through to the last sixteen. Mukerry’s Fionn Hickey shot the low round yesterday, a 73 saw him top day two and added to his opening 76, he qualified comfortably. The Irish International had a colourful scorecard yesterday and interesting it included four birdies – all of which came on the par three’s. Tom Higgins from Roscommon was the top qualifier on 148, with Hickey one shot behind on 149.
Lee Valley’s Keelan McCarthy shot rounds of Continue reading
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey made his international debut this week, and the 16 year old did himself proud at the Boys Home Internationals. The annual event took place in Ashburnham Golf Club in Wales and Ireland opened with a win over Scotland on Tuesday. It was a disappointing start for Fionn as he narrowly lost his singles match. There was better luck for the Muskerry man yesterday as Ireland beat Wales and Fionn won his singles match against Toby Bishop. That win set Ireland up for a winner takes all match against England today. Hickey partnered Dylan Keating for a half this morning with Ireland taking a lead, the score was 3.5 to 1.5 after the foursomes. Fionn won his match this afternoon, but the wind was in the English sails. They won six of the matches to win by a single point and take the title. While the final result was a disappointment, England were the favourites and solid play from Hickey on his debut will spur him on for a strong end to the season.
Girls & Womens Home Internationals
Sara Byrne was also in action for the Irish Girls over the Continue reading
Muskerry have booked their place in the Munster finals of the Fred Daly Trophy. The Cork side will be hoping to repeat the win of 2017 and remove the memory of the final loss of 2018 when they head to Clonmel in just over two weeks time. To reach the finals three years in a row is a sizeable achievement, they faced Douglas in the area final last Sunday which was held in Cork Golf Club. With a large crowd watching Muskerry took the lead and held on to claim the win and book their place in the Munster finals with a positive performance from the team. Fionn Hickey put the first point on the board for Muskerry with a win over Kevin Collins, and Jack Egan added a second point when he beat Ross Higgins. Mark Hill won a point for Douglas when he beat Eoghan O’Shaughnessy but the match was over when Stephen Continue reading
It was another positive day for Cork golfers, 16 year old Fionn Hickey was in the prizes a the Leinster Boys while Peter O’Keeffe dispatched another two challengers and is into the semi-final of the North of Ireland.
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey continued his positive set of results this summer with a fourth place finish at the Leinster Boys. Played in Waterford Golf Club over the past three days, Hickey close with a one under par 70. Three birdies in his final five holes helped the Muskerry golfer move up one spot on the leaderboard, and he also won the best Under 17 prize. Mel Deasy (Lee Valley) finished inside the top ten, two birdies on the back nine helped improve his position after going through the front nine in +3 today. Keelan McCarthy and Robbie Walsh came home together in 14th position. Both golfers shot identical rounds of 74,73,78 over the three days, while Mallow’s Daniel O’Sullivan was one shot back in 22nd place.
In Portstewart, Peter O’Keeffe claimed his fourth matchplay win in two day, closing out all four matches before he reached the 18th hole. In the round of 32, O’Keeffe faced Jake Rowe from Tandragee, and he beat the Ulsterman 2&1. This afternoon he faced Malone’s Matthew McClean in the quarter-final and closed out the match on the 16th after holding a solid lead throughout.
Tomorrow morning the Douglas golfer will face the top qualifier and 2018 West of Ireland winner Rob Brazill from Naas. Both golfers are currently on the Irish Senior Mens panel and it promises to be an interesting match. In the second semi final, Liam Grehan will take on Arron Edwards-Hill. O’Keeffe has been on the road for well over a week. Last week he caddied for his friend Rob Dawson in the Irish Open in Lahinch, and when they finished up on Sunday, O’Keeffe made the long journey to the Northern coastline for Monday’s first round in the strokeplay qualifier.
Robbie Walsh leads the Connacht Boys after an impressive round where he shot a 68. The Kinsale teenager had five birdies on his way the the four under par round in Oughterard. A bogey on the final hole spoiled an otherwise flawless round, and he ties the overnight lead with Joshua Hill. Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) and Shane Connor (East Cork) are the next best Cork players, they shot level par and are tied for 13th place. Muskerry duo Fionn Hickey (+2) and Jack Egan (+3) are both inside the top thirty, along with Mallow’s Ronan Feerick. Round two in Oughterard takes place tomorrow with the top 45 qualifying for the final round.
Pat Lyons leads in Kilkenny – Irish Seniors Close Pat Lyons shot an opening one Continue reading